The version of your home life you present to guests versus the reality

DO you pretend to have a different home life when people visit? Here are five things that are at odds with the squalid truth.

You clean

Judging by the gleaming surfaces in all your rooms, your guests will assume that you hoover and dust on a weekly basis. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact you had to book the last fortnight off work just to get your home into a presentable condition. And the second they leave it will revert to its natural state as a shit tip.

You tidy

Everything in your home appears to have a place. The glasses sit in the cabinet, the books stand proudly on the shelf, and the mountain of dirty laundry you couldn’t be bothered to sort has been crammed into your wardrobe. So long as your guests don’t look in there they will never know that you are in fact a slovenly goblin person.

Your kitchen isn’t bare

Offering your guests a drink and a snack is a great way to cover your tracks. They’ll never suspect that your cupboards are usually only filled with stale breakfast cereal, mouldy bread, and a clove of garlic you picked up in the first lockdown. Who needs ingredients though when you live off takeaways every night? That would be wasteful.

All the rooms are equally clean and tidy

This is a gamble, but it can pay off. If you only clean the rooms your guests will visit, then they should assume that everywhere else is equally immaculate. Unless you’re giving them a tour, they will have no reason to visit the fetid den you call your bedroom, meaning you don’t need to sort the assorted junk which has built up in it ever since you moved in.

You’re winning at life

By presenting a deceptively positive version of your abode, your guests may actually be envious of you. They’ll suspect something is off because they know what a shambles of a person you really are, but they won’t be able to prove it. Just pray they don’t decide to knock on the door in a couple of weeks when everything has promptly fallen apart again.

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Five family activities attempted once a year when it's stupidly hot

WANT to keep the family busy in this sweltering heat? Try these activities which are an annual lesson in misery.

Visit a local event

During normal temperatures you would never dream of visiting a village fete, historical re-enactment or cheese festival. But in the heat something strange happens to your brain and you’re convinced they’re enjoyable – even though their fun factor, if any, exhausts itself in 20 minutes. Sitting at home staring at a fan would have been better.

A remote barbecue

What could be nicer on a sweltering day than to drive somewhere remote and eat burgers off a raging fire? Answer: anything. Not only do you have to sit for hours in your boiling car, but you’re only one stray spark away from immolating the whole of Southern England. Just swing by the nearest McDonald’s drive-thru and save yourself the hassle.

The very long walk

Certain family members get off on organising epic hikes on the hottest day of the year. And sadly everyone else has to go along with the whims of these psychopaths. The frailest and most sensible people will drop out at the first pub, leaving the others to endure exhaustion, blisters and photographs capturing their terminal boredom.

A cricket match

Families appear to love nothing more on a scorching day than to crack out their wickets and cricket bats. No matter how the teams are split, someone will spoil the apparent fun with their over-competitiveness or strict adherence to petty rules, even though they never follow the game for the rest of the year. Stay inside with a Cornetto and finish watching Better Call Saul. It’s much more fun.

The summer Sunday roast

The Sunday roast is often neglected in summer by normal people, for obvious reasons. Not hardcore traditionalist families. First they spend hours in a hot kitchen preparing it, then guzzle down large amounts of piping hot food in equally hot weather. Funnily enough you never see them enjoying ice cream in December, the hypocrites.